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posted by martyb on Monday June 29 2020, @07:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the when-elephants-fight,-the-grass-gets-trampled dept.

EFF & Heavyweight Legal Team Will Defend Internet Archive's Digital Library Against Publishers

The EFF has revealed it is teaming up with law firm Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit targeting its Open Library. According to court filings, the impending storm is shaping up to be a battle of the giants, with opposing attorneys having previously defended Google in book scanning cases and won a $1bn verdict for the RIAA against ISP Cox.

In March and faced with the chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Internet Archive (IA) launched its National Emergency Library (NEL). Built on its existing Open Library, the NEL provided users with unlimited borrowing of more than a million books, something which the IA hoped would help "displaced learners" restricted by quarantine measures.

After making a lot of noise in opposition to both the Open and Emergency libraries, publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley and Penguin Random House filed a massive copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive.

[...] Last evening the EFF announced that it is joining forces with California-based law firm Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit which they say is a threat to IA's Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program. The CDL program allows people to check out scanned copies of books for which the IA and its partners can produce physically-owned copies. The publishers clearly have a major problem with the system but according to IA and EFF, the service is no different from that offered by other libraries. "EFF is proud to stand with the Archive and protect this important public service," says EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry.

Previously: Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books
University Libraries Offer Online "Lending" of Scanned In-Copyright Books
Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site
Internet Archive Ends "Emergency Library" Early to Appease Publishers

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  • (Score: 1) by beernutz on Monday June 29 2020, @10:44PM (3 children)

    by beernutz (4365) on Monday June 29 2020, @10:44PM (#1014286)

    I think the counter-point that will be made has to do with regular libraries still offering online lending even while they were closed. While I wholeheartedly support the IA, and the incredibly important work they do, I really fear they will get stomped on this one. 8(

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Monday June 29 2020, @11:05PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <> on Monday June 29 2020, @11:05PM (#1014293) Journal

    Even if there is a strong legal basis for what AC says, and I doubt there is, the decision is up to a number of judges of varying quality and opinions.

    On the plus side, if IA isn't dealt a death blow, they might end up weakening copyright instead.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday June 30 2020, @12:50AM

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday June 30 2020, @12:50AM (#1014324) Journal

      I hope there are many widely scattered mirrors to make it more robust

      La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday June 29 2020, @11:38PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 29 2020, @11:38PM (#1014306) Journal

    This is a political issue, as much, or more than, it is a legal issue. You can find the right judge to rule in favor of IA, you can find the right judge to rule against IA, at each and every step of the legal process. But, politics? I think IA is counting on support from EFF and others - and I think they are counting on some kind of grass roots thing happening.

    With politics, you may very well lose the legal battle, but win the cultural war in the process.

    It's anybody's guess at this point.